You’re all ready to start a small business. You have the passion. You have the funding. You even have a few key team players in mind. But before you make it official, you definitely need something else: a business plan.
Many entrepreneurs try to skip writing business plans, and it’s easy to understand why. Business plans take time and effort to write. This can set back the opening of your company by many months. However, a business plan is well worth the energy and research it takes to put it together.
Why are business plans so important for the overall success of your small business? Check out these great reasons to create a business plan before you put up your “open for business” sign:
- A business plan keeps you on track. It can be easy to lose your focus when you’re running a business, especially if you’ve never owned a business or have limited managerial experience. By following the business plan, you can be sure you’re doing everything you wanted and needed to do.
- You are less likely to make beginners’ missteps. These missteps can be anything from forgetting to stay on track of all your bookkeeping, to neglecting your payroll taxes. If you have everything outlined in your business plan, you’re more apt to have all your proverbial “ducks” in a row!
- You have a better chance at garnering funding. Still need some funding from a bank or investors? You’ll definitely want to show them a well-prepared, highly researched business plan. The business plan will give them an idea of the route you intend to take, to make sure they get their money and interest back.
- You’ll know if you need to tweak your business focus. Maybe you have a business idea in mind, and it seems like a no-brainer. After doing research for your business plan, you could stumble across some concerns that make you change the trajectory of your organization. You’ll be very glad you found any issues early, rather than opening your business first.
- Your personnel will know your vision. A business plan isn’t just about numbers — it’s also filled with the vision and mission of your small business. As you hire your core team of players, you can give them copies of your business plan, where applicable. They’ll be able to read about the company’s objectives, and they’ll know immediately the roles they need to play.
Not sure how to write a business plan? There are plenty of resources online, as well as at small business centers in cities around the United States. The key is to just get started!